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Simple Blood Test Could Speed Diagnosis Of Celiac Disease

October 5, 2015: 12:00 AM EST
To celiac diagnose celiac disease – a severe immune reaction to the protein gluten in wheat, barley, and rye – a physician has to take blood and intestinal tissue samples (gastroscopy), an uncomfortable, often painful procedure. Now Norwegian scientists have developed a simple test that may make it quicker and easier to diagnose the disease. The test is based on the fact that in celiac disease immune cells, known as T cells, analyze gluten molecules and decide that they are a harmful bacteria or virus. For the new test, a blood sample is taken, the blood is enriched with certain reagents, and gluten-reactive T cells are counted. People with celiac disease will have a much higher number of gluten-reactive T cells in their blood than non-celiacs.
Asbjørn Christophersen, "Simplified diagnosis of celiac disease", News release, University of Oslo, October 05, 2015, © University of Oslo
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